State begins CRCT investigation -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State begins CRCT investigation

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Investigators made their first open records request for a lot of Dougherty County Schools documentation Wednesday.

School officials say they plan to comply with the state investigators requests, but they won't have much time to pull together what the state is asking for.

It's clear state investigators looking into possible Criterion Reference Competency Test tampering in Dougherty County plan to bury themselves in the paperwork.

"They've requested certain certification documents, minutes that kind of thing," said DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman.

In an open records request they asked for all the board minutes for every meeting of the Dougherty County School Board from January of 2008 through this month, but that's not all.

"They've asked for more, for the certification for certain people who had no relationship to the thing, which is a little odd, surprising," said Coleman.

School administrators like Dr. Murfree, Dianne Daniels, Renee Bridges, Betty Draper, Carlos Keith and Robert Youngblood.

They also want all documents that refer or relate to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 CRCT's and any allegations or investigations of misconduct relating to the tests, which school officials say doesn't exist, because they found no tampering.

"As far as the extent that we have information, full disclosure from the school system, that's my intention unless someone tells me differently," said Coleman.

School officials won't have much time to pull this all together, open records request means investigators want to see the public records within the next three days.

"An open records request we have to let them know in three days of when it will be available, we don't have to tell them, it doesn't have to be available in three days."

Investigators today told us paperwork won't be all they're after, they plan to interview a lot of school system employees and they set up a hotline for the community who can report anything they've heard when it comes to cheating on CRCT's. 

Investigators couldn't say how long they thought the investigation would take.

The probe started when the state pointed out an unusually high number of changes in test answers from wrong to right On Dougherty County's 2009 CRCT's. Eight schools were listed in the severe category.

The overall passing rate in those eight schools this year took a nosedive of almost 13 points with monitors overseeing testing. The school system's investigation found no wrongdoing.

You can call the CRCT Investigation Tipline (404) 962-3849, and (404) 261-6020.


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